Esther's Story

Usually when a newborn wakes in the night it is a bother, but not to Saf and Esther. After having lost 3 children in childbirth, the cry of their newborn baby to these parents it was a joy.

After Saf and Esther got married they were eager to start a family and when Esther became pregnant with their first child they were thrilled. Unfortunately when she tried to deliver at home like her mother had done, there were complications and the nearby clinic could not save their baby. Esther came close to losing her life also. For over a year they grieved the loss of the first born child, wondering what went wrong.

Both Esther and Saf came from rural villages where childbirth was either straightforward, or you were considered a cursed woman if complications arose. After Esther lost her baby it seemed that everyone in the village had opinions and advice, and some were already calling her cursed.

Thankfully their second child was born healthy, but not without complications. This time they chose against the villagers’ advice and went the more modern route for childbirth. They chose to go to a provincial hospital. But there they found the treatment was confusing and harsh. And it was very expensive for them. Although they emerged a bit shell shocked, their baby was born healthy and they thanked God for this gift, naming their son Baraka or “gift of God”.

Esther became pregnant two more times, only to have even more horrendous birth experiences and again having still borns. This is when SMI heard of Esther and Saf’s story. We have been able to help them through our medical benevolence program.

First we arranged for them to have proper health education and child birth classes. Then we had them de-brief and counsel with a caring Ob/Gyn. She gave them sound and practical advice regarding how they could move forward if they wished to have another child and she made a plan with them. They were also given reading material so they could continue learning not only about pregnancy and childbirth, but parenting and child care also.

One year later, Esther and Saf braved another pregnancy, but this time we were notified when Esther was in labor. Alarmingly, they were far from a hospital when she went into labor and by the time Esther arrived at the hospital the baby was in distress and she was rushed in for an emergency Cesarean Section, not knowing if they could save the baby. Saf was a mess and on his knees asking for God to help them. We had 2 SMI staff members that were able to re-assure him through this tedious waiting, and thankfully the baby pulled through in good condition. This baby boy was named Emmanuel, which means “God is with us”. Finally, Saf and Esther were allowed to hold their newborn child in their arms and listen to the wonderful sound of him crying, even in the wee hours of the night.